The Marketing Strategist:
How to Tie Thought Leadership to a Lead Management Process
March 27, 2012
The era of passing contacts on to sales just because they downloaded a white paper is over. It’s all well and good to be able to track leads and their activity, but what marketers really need is to be able to predict how behavior leads to a sale.
That’s why it’s critical to tie your thought leadership dissemination to a lead management process that closes the loop between marketing and sales and that is based in analytics. While the purpose of thought leadership is not exclusively focused on generating and nurturing leads, it is important to understand the behavior of customers along the path to a sale.
Yet going beyond capturing leads to analyzing their behavior is not something that can be done manually or in spreadsheets. Thankfully, there’s an app for that—many, in fact. There are now countless providers of automated lead management systems—with some of them available as software as a service (SaaS). The rise of SaaS means that lead management analytics are not just for big companies with large internal IT staffs anymore.
Lead management systems let you track how customers and prospects are interacting with you through web tracking cookies and unique customer ID numbers (for tracking offline behavior such as interactions with the call center). However, while these systems are necessary to create an automated process and to provide the raw data for analytics, they don’t have the kind of built-in analytical capability needed to predict behavior. They help marketers make more educated guesses.
Truly understanding customer and prospect behavior requires analyzing and interpreting the differences in behavior between leads that become customers and those that do not. Revealing the statistically significant differences between those two groups gives marketers the insights they need to improve the mix and focus of their marketing programs (including thought leadership). However, developing an analytical model for generating fact-based insights about customers (and non-buyers) isn’t easy. In fact, it’s worth its own ITSMA publication. In How to Create a Predictive Lead Management Process,
we explain the steps companies need to take to tie thought leadership to lead management.
Read How to Create a Predictive Lead Management Process.